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The most frustrating thing you have encountered lately

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Spectric

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Ok, whats the most frustrating thing you have encountered lately that has consumed more time than you could have imagined but initially you thought it will be simple, I don't mean partners, pets or the like but task, projects and manmade items?

For me it is a so called smart phone that has become a real PITA, more so because I do not use mobile phones on a regular basis and only carry a very basic one for emergencies, but I needed a device for navigation when out walking and looking for specific locations when in out of the way places, all it has to do is basically receive data from a Ublox GNSS receiver and display it on a map so not asking for too much or so I thought. My current device is 14 years old and and very usable so you imagine things have progressed since it came onto the market, but no what benefits they now offer are offset in other areas . So my first problem is that I struggled with the tappy, tappy - swipe swipe thing needed for touch screens on these devices, not having thin pointy fingers does not help but after many hours of painstaking trying progress was sort of made. But this was just the start of a string of issues that would need resolving, loading the program I needed seemed relatively simple but soon I realised that was just Google giving me false hopes, I could not locate where my files were within the device and so could not copy the ones I needed to use, but they were there somewhere. Got some further info from a guy in the states who knew the Android OS inside out and he explained that the smart phone is great for those into social media, making phone calls, texting and sharing pictures which is what the majority use it for but if you fall outside of these groups then you will meet the restrictions imposed by Google who only allow it to do what they deem it should, talk about big brother and this stuff is being integrated into new cars! For me copying and moving files is a basic requirement in any field of IT so whats the problem with Android?

I was directed to another site that explained the solution, I needed to root my device and that did not mean putting it into potting compost. Has anyone heard of rooting their phone because it is not a term I had heard of before but then I am not a mobile phone user and being of the baby boom generation I avoid much of this social interaction technology found on these devices. Well after more hours of digging around I found that rooting is what a lot of people do to Android devices to free them from the restrictions imposed by google and give you full access, files will no longer be hidden and there is a lot more you could do, so why why make life so difficult at all, it is like buying a new car but you cannot open the bonnet, sealed by the OEM and only they have access. Well this process has taken hours to perform and was like going back to the days of DOS in the eighties with a command line interface. I have over forty years working in electrical, electronics and software in many fields including R&D but have never come across such a stubborn, unfreindly and uncooperative device like this thing, it just fights you all the way and loves to throw obstacles in your way, so how do so many people become addicted to such a device, perhaps it's just my age but you can teach old dogs new tricks but with age comes wisdom so it is more a case of we don't always want or need new tricks. So when I though woodworking was going to be a major challenge and give me some hard times little did I realise something as small and insignificant as this mobile device would be many magnitudes greater.
 

D_W

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Yesterday, the credit card company called to tell me that my card had a suspicious charge and they would send me another one. After farting around with them for several minutes, they said they couldn't verify that it's me because my phone is voip. Wtf...Why don't you ask first instead of dic-ing me around for ten minutes. I asked them to send me some sort of paper method to contest the charge.

..No, can't do that. I said, I have no legal obligation for the charge and I'll send you a certified legal letter if that's what this comes down to, and I'll stop using the card.

Instead, they want me to sit in front of my phone, take a picture of myself holding my drivers license visible and send it to them with a secret code number and then call them back. And, no, it's not even a scam, it's their stupid procedure. Synchrony bank. I've been through it with them before. Voip phones over internet have probably been out for ten years and I have no problems with anyone but them.

So, I tell the lady to patch me through to someone who can make a decision, and she forwards my call to her manager, and heshe never picks up.

The whole time, she's mumbling that all of the trouble is for my benefit, which is bs, as private individuals on the US are not responsible for anything over 50 bucks of credit card fraudulent charges. The automated system calls me later in the day yesterday and I tried to use that instead of an agent and it automatically hung up.
 

D_W

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You're right. That's definitely worse than customer service.
 

PhilipL

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A small outfit in Hillsborough, NI were going to make moulding for my front door. They were contacted way back in November and were going to come and view. They never did, but said they were busy. I suggested I send a bit of moulding off to them at the end of January (getting worried about timescale for house sale) and they said, yes do that. I said if they were busy I could get the moulding fitted etc. Couple of weeks later I then asked what was happening, and they said they would sort it in a few days. Two weeks later they went into hiding and never answered emails. Couldn't find a phone number anywhere for them (was that a sign they often hide out?)

My feeling is that I and many others would just think that small crafts people are wasters and there's no point in asking them to do anything. They give the small craft businessman a bad name - do you deserve it?
 

Jelly

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I suppose the issue is that you're coming in with s much greater level of understanding (and desire for a level of control) than the system was designed to be optimal for.

Android has been designed with a set of constraints which makes it quick and easy to produce programs which do the kinds of things that Google anticipates a user would want, but if you as a developer attempt to step outside that it's just infuriating.



I've had much the same issue playing with home automation equipment designed to use wi-fi/ZigBee via Various apps (or an onsite server).

Fundimentally the equipment is designed to be very easy to configure and use for someone who is non-technical, and the slightly more involved equipment which is intended to be wired in isn't designed with existing installations, (or British electrical wiring conventions) in mind...

After years working with PLC and HMI, I keep being irritated that it's impossible to exert granular control over relatively simple things without either fully committing to computer control via a cloud service or re-wiring things in fairly major ways to use only smart switching.

But realistically, I'm being more exacting than the average consumer in my desired outcome.
 

stuckinthemud

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I am a luddite, if I want a window to open , I go an open it, if its cold I go and turn the heating on. My main concern (and I am not into conspiracy theories) is that companies like Google are leading/cajoling/leaving no option for everyone to store everything online, once everything depends on their services they become untouchable. Just ask the Australians what happens if you cross them.
 

Terry - Somerset

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Phones are now intended to be intuitive devices, capable of operation by anyone with a new style brain. Those over 60 have old style brains.

An analogy - I and many others on this forum grew up at a time when every bloke knew how to fix his car. In the event of "no go", lift the bonnet, check fuel, spark, compression etc etc.

New style brain car users assume that if something is wrong the car will tell them. They don't even know how the bonnet opens. Servicing is what the garage when the owner is told it is due.

Applying an old style brain to a modern car means that whilst opening the bonnet may be simple, the rest is an incomprehensible mess of interconnected and interrelated sensors and ECUs.

Young lads tuning motors - big exhaust, high lift cam, gas flowed inlet and exhaust, etc etc - is mostly history. They don't understand and nor do they need to.

So it is with phones - they are designed to work with new style brains - even though the intellect behind the new style brain is woefully deficient. They are not designed forr amateurs to tinker with.

This is probably why woodwork is our hobby - we can actually play with the machines and tools like we did in our yoof, and avoid reliance on Ikea!
 

Jelly

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I am a luddite, if I want a window to open , I go an open it, if its cold I go and turn the heating on. My main concern (and I am not into conspiracy theories) is that companies like Google are leading/cajoling/leaving no option for everyone to store everything online, once everything depends on their services they become untouchable. Just ask the Australians what happens if you cross them.
That's what irritates me, it's currently nigh on impossible to avoid being dependent on the internet and expensive to avoid a situation where the functionality of normal "dumb" switch operation is compromised.

I suspect it's more lazy thinking than malice aforethought, but I'm really not keen on any system which doesn't just work normally with the smart elements inactive.
 

EddyCurrent

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People selling stuff where it's collection only, I thought we were in a lockdown ?

Does it qualify as "click and collect" ?
 
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Jelly

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New style brain car users assume that if something is wrong the car will tell them. They don't even know how the bonnet opens. Servicing is what the garage when the owner is told it is due.

Applying an old style brain to a modern car means that whilst opening the bonnet may be simple, the rest is an incomprehensible mess of interconnected and interrelated sensors and ECUs.
So I'm definitely in the "New Style Brain" Bracket, but have also always serviced my own cars...

There is a reasonable amount of control electronics, sensors and wiring which makes diagnosis more complex and car specific (I have stuck to Ford and PSA cars, because I've learned the "Architecture" of their Common-Rail Diesels) but it's still pretty straightforward...

Just like a fully mechanical engine reading the workshop manuals and understanding the systems is more than half the battle and there's a lot more systems in an engine these days.

Albeit the push towards ever smaller "packaging" makes some engines a nightmare to work on and sometimes needing a proprietary plug-in cable and laptop, for things like replacing injectors or calibrating sensors is a right pipper and a bit of an irritating expense if you work on multiple engine types/generations.



Young lads tuning motors - big exhaust, high lift cam, gas flowed inlet and exhaust, etc etc - is mostly history. They don't understand and nor do they need to.
I could point you to any number of supermarket car-parks full of lads who would be only too keen to prove you wrong on that... Although forced induction is definitely de-rigeur now, so understanding how to select between and spec a turbo or supercharger is now important for any serious modification hobby.

And there's a garage near me which sometimes offers DIY rolling road time to lads like that to tune up the engine performance using ECU modification, which is really quite nifty stuff giving frankly terrifying power outputs if they want to push it that far.
 

Terrytpot

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Back in 2009 I had ,what was for it's time a groundbreaking phone, the HTC HD2 which was sold running on windows mobile 6.5 but after some jolly clever folks on xda developers applied their thinking caps , we were all able to install and run pretty much any operating system we wanted to either replace or work in tandem with windows mobile. Having grabbed one as soon as it came out I was rather disappointed with it's native software so was quite pleased that the option of changing it was not only possible but also rather easy to do. I had my fun with it and learned quite a bit about tinkering with gadgets but eventually moved on to other types of device that seemed to me to be more "stable".
Now jump forward to last year when I see a little post on the interwebby somewhere that I could pick up a refurbed HD2 for £10...how could I refuse? I still had my original one (even though I'd been offered £50 for it 5 years ago but declined the offer) and thought I wouldn't mind having a trip down memory lane and seeing how it compares to my current device (iPhone 11pro). HD2 promptly ordered and received and then it was time to wipe her clean and load it up with mmm, let me see...what did they make for it?

Android (versions 2.2 Froyo, 2.3 Gingerbread, 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, 4.1 Jelly Bean, 4.2 Jelly Bean, 4.3 Jellybean, 4.4 Kitkat, 5.0 Lollipop, 6.0 Marshmallow and 7.0 Nougat), Ubuntu, MeeGo and Windows Phone have all been unofficially ported to the HD2. In addition, many customised versions of Windows Mobile are available for the device, with versions 6.1,[20] 6.5,[21] 6.5.3 and 6.5.5 available.

at least,that's what they used to have available for it...turns out there aren't any live links now for all the stuff you need to install any of those!!! doh! (now got 2x HD2 in my cupboard for when I get bored and want to try again)
 

Sandyn

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Buying anything!!! there are just too many sources for everything. Just simple things like coach bolts for example. I have to check Screwfix, Toolstation. Amazon, eBay, then a general search on the web, then pack sizes are different, different finishes, Web searches are generally useless. Every conceivable item with bolt, or coach in it's description is thrown at you. Then I have to go through my shopping list to see what else I need to get since I will be placing a order somewhere....repeat search for all the other items, then there's an anxious think session....is the anything else I need to buy??, but I'm very aware that Toolstation was the only place with all the coach bolts I need, but someone might place an order while I have my think session!!!! Lately, I have just been checking local suppliers where I can click and collect. Nearly always I get home after collecting the items and I remember another thing I need and should have got.!!
 

Spectric

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I've had much the same issue playing with home automation equipment designed to use wi-fi/ZigBee via Various apps (or an onsite server).
I can fully understand because these days people don't sell complete puzzles but bits from many different puzzles and down to you to make them fit. Is it going wrong in the process of simplification or just that engineering standards are sliding.

Phones are now intended to be intuitive devices, capable of operation by anyone with a new style brain. Those over 60 have old style brains.
I would suggest it is more like over fifty, and as you say we had cars that could be fixed, simple carburation and a dizzy but often needed welding, now they have displays that tell you the door is open, that would have been obvious to us with old brains!
 

Amateur

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sub quality Chinese ply, paper thin show face, debonds and insufficient glueline and rigidity and why suppliers keep insisting stocking it at sky high top grade prices.
 

Nigel Burden

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Too many to list. According to my wife, life is one big irritation to me. Apparently I'm just like Siegfried Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small.:eek:

Nigel.
 

Nigel Burden

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Now the bleddy speakers on the computer won't adjust, and the wife said that she'd rather not listen to The Byrds. Apparently she can hear them even though I have ear phones plugged in.

Nigel.
 

Jelly

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I can fully understand because these days people don't sell complete puzzles but bits from many different puzzles and down to you to make them fit. Is it going wrong in the process of simplification or just that engineering standards are sliding.
I think it's the simplification process, the individual products are well built and function as intended, but a lack of contact between smart home technology developers, and the kind of installers or users who would undertake a retrofit application, means basic functionality for core applications doesn't exist yet.

For instance there's no product on the market which allows for integration of a smart switch with multi-way light switches without either:

  • Replacing the wall switches with smart switches connected by 12v DC signalling and/or WiFi or ZigBee and an external server to a seperate smart relay, or
  • Using a smart relay which is independent of the wall switches and cannot be turned off without an app/smart speaker and will fail on, or
  • Using a smart relay to control a dumb NO-NC relay configured to act as an intermediate switch, and accepting that the smart home system cannot sense the state of the light it's controlling because there's no feedback loop, not any provision for an independent state sensor to be integrated with the switch in the control software.
Muktiway switching of ceiling roses is 100% a solved problem, and it should not require a major rewire and ceading control of my lights to a cloud service to maintain that basic functionality when adding "smart" control.
 
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